• Creationist stakes $10,000 on contest between Bible and evolution

    I wonder what our very own Andy Schueler thinks of this, as an molecular evolutionary biologist! The Guardian reports:

    Creator of Literal Genesis Trial believes people who argue in favor of evolution are at a scientific disadvantage

    California creationist is offering a $10,000 challenge to anyone who can prove in front of a judge that science contradicts the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis.

    Dr Joseph Mastropaolo, who says he has set up the contest, the Literal Genesis Trial, in the hope of improving the quality of arguments between creationists and evolutionists, has pledged to put $10,000 of his own money into an escrow account before the debate. His competitor would be expected to do the same. The winner would take the $20,000 balance.creationism

    The argument would not be made in a formal court, but under an alternative dispute resolution model known as a minitrial. Mastropaolo said he would present the argument in favor of a literal interpretation of the creation story once he had found a willing scientist to argue that a non-literal interpretation of Genesis is more scientific.

    “They [evolutionists] are not stupid people, they are bright, but they are bright enough to know there is no scientific evidence they can give in a minitrial,” Mastropaolo said.

    A minitrial differs from a regular trial because it does not need to be held in a courthouse and does not require the presence of traditional court figures. Mastropaolo plans to have a bailiff and court reporter in attendance, along with the judge. Contest rules state that evidence must be scientific, which means it is “objective, valid, reliable and calibrated”.

    Mastropaolo believes that evolution cannot be proved scientifically. “It turns out that there is nothing in the universe [that] is evolving, everything is devolving, everything is going in the opposite direction,” he said.

    Mastropaolo started making public arguments in favor of creationismabout 13 years ago, after reading an article about evolution in the newspaper. He has a PhD in kinesiology and taught biomechanics and physiology at a California university for more than 25 years. He is now a contributing writer at the Creation Science Hall of Fame, which is collaborating with him for the minitrial. The Creation Science Hall of Fame is a website, launched in February 2012, that honors those who have made contributions to creation science.

    A majority of scientists disavow creationism, but a June 2012 Gallup pollshowed that 46% of Americans believed in a literal interpretation of the biblical version of creation. Legislation to allow students to be taught religious versions of the creation of life is currently being considered in four states.

    The Literal Genesis Trial contest would be held in a courthouse in Santa Ana, California and Mastropaolo has said he will create a list of potential superior court judges to decide the case. The participants would have to agree on a judge. Mastropaolo said that he hopes the trials can improve future debates between evolutionists and creationists by addressing the issue in a legal and scientific way.

    “The evolutionists thereafter could read that transcript and make their case a bit stronger on the next one they contend against and we can do the same,” Mastropaolo said. “We can read the transcript and not have have to go through the same process over and over and over again without any let up, without any resolution.”

    Category: CreationismEvolutionScience and religion

    Tags:

    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce

    2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

    • SmilodonsRetreat

      sigh… it’s been done a dozen times and you know what… no one has ever gotten paid.

      Alternately, he could do what scientists actually do and publish the evidence that supports Genesis and is discriminatory between the Bible and science, but he won’t because there isn’t any.

      He only wants to say “If scientists are so sure, why don’t they back up their words with science?”

      • Joe G

        Dear Kevin,

        IDists do NOT calculate/ measure meaning/ function. Biological information refers to biological function. That means function is an observation.

        Then we can use Shannon’s methodolgy to measure the information present. And we can us the methodology in the following papers to measure the information in functional proteins:

        Kirk K. Durston, David K. Y. Chiu, David L. Abel, Jack T. Trevors, “Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins,” Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, Vol. 4:47 (2007)

        Robert M. Hazen, Patrick L. Griffin, James M. Carothers, and Jack W. Szostak, “Functional information and the emergence of biocomplexity,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, Vol. 104:8574–8581 (May 15, 2007).

        • SmilodonsRetreat

          Well done Joe.

          You realize that both of those articles talk about the information, complexity, and function in terms of evolution. And both show that evolution is capable of doing the things that ID says it can’t… i.e. create function

          That’s actually quite funny considering one of the authors is a fellow creationist (Abel).

          There are some very interesting assumptions in these papers as well.

          For example: “Functional information is defined only in the context of a specific function x.
          For example, the functional information of a ribozyme may be greater
          than zero with respect to its ability to catalyze one
          specific reaction but will be zero with
          respect to many other reactions. Functional information therefore
          depends on both
          the system and on the specific function
          under consideration.”

          I have a problem with that definition. Because it specifically ignores other functions that the sequence might have.

          What’s also really curious is that none of this is calculated in terms of Shannon information.

          Here’s another quote for you “Shannon’s classical information theory does not consider the meaning,or function, of a message.”

          Here’s a hint. Because they talk about ‘information’, they do not imply that Intelligent Design is right. Heck, even Abel doesn’t do that, and he’s the most published creationist ever.

          You do the work. Show me that it works. Since you understand it so well.

          • Joe G

            Kevin, Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution. And those papers do not discuss anything in terms of unguided evolution.

          • Joe G

            And here’s another quote for you:
            “The word information in this theory is used in a special mathematical sense that must not be confused with its ordinary usage. In particular, information must not be confused with meaning.”- Warren Weaver, one of Shannon’s collaborators

            • Hey joey, what you quoted from Weaver is what Smilodon and others have been telling you for a long time.

              Do you remember saying this on your laughable blog?

              “IOW complex specified information is a term to differentiate between Shannon Information and information that has a specific meaning.”

              How about this?

              “Everyone in the world knows that information = meaning.”

              And this?

              “The FACT remains that to the majority of people, the word “information” goes hand-in-hand with meaning. The entire world depends on it.”

              You obviously can’t make up your feeble mind. You and your fellow IDiots claim to be able to “calculate/measure” CSI (complex specified information) and you assert that information has meaning. You’ve made a big stink about how information must have meaning for the information to be information. Smilodon has asked you to calculate/measure meaning but you ran from that (as usual) just like you always run from calculating/measuring CSI, and now you’re acting as though you are the one who knows the difference between Shannon information and meaning and as though you are the one who has argued all along that meaning isn’t relevant to calculating/measuring information, which, according to you, has meaning.

              You go around and around in so many circles that it’s hard to describe just how screwed up your claims are. Any sane person who has read your blog, your comments at UD, your comments on other sites, and your comments in the Joe G.’s Tardgasm thread at AtBC knows that you don’t have a clue about anything scientific and that you will lie, evade, move the goal posts, threaten, and use every other trick imaginable to bash science (especially the ToE) and to push the religious/political ID agenda.

              For a start, here is some suggested reading for anyone who wants to see more of joey’s claims about information:

              http://intelligentreasoning.blogspot.com/2007/08/csi-for-dummies.html

              http://intelligentreasoning.blogspot.com/

              Start about halfway down on page 184, or earlier, of this thread:

              http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=51524de042f662da;act=ST;f=14;t=6647;st=5490

            • Joe G

              Shut up TWiT- just because you are a moron doesn’t mean I can’t make up my mind.
              Again, we do NOT calculate meaning/ function. You are just a belligerent punk.

            • Well then joey, if you IDiots do NOT calculate meaning/function, how can you calculate CSI, since you claim that information has meaning and that complex specified information has meaning and function?

              And what about FSCI, dFSCI, FSCO/I, and dFSCO/I? Doesn’t the F stand for function or functional? Maybe you should ask your master gordon e. mullings (kairosfocus) to come here and help you argue your ‘position’ since he likes and promotes those terms so much.

            • Joe G

              I told you how to do it. Don’t blame me because you are a belligerent dolt.
              FUNCTION IS OBSERVED- duh

            • Typical evasion from you, joey. Since you and the other IDiots claim that the I in CSI is meaningful and functional information, and that CSI is calculable/measurable, why is it that you always run from calculating/measuring the CSI in a banana and all of the other things that I and others have suggested to you many times? Surely someone as CSI savvy as you should jump at the opportunity to demonstrate one of the central claims of the ID agenda. What are you afraid of?

              Since you aren’t able to calculate/measure the CSI in a banana or the other suggested things, you could at least educate us with your amazing calculation/measurement of the CSI in a cake (or caek), and show your work. I’m sure that everyone will find it enthralling.

              By the way, do functions only function when someone is observing them?

            • Joe G

              LoL! CSI means the information has function/ meaning you moron.
              And a banana contains CSI- as I have demonstrated on my blog the most simple living organism contains CSI.

            • If you actually read his comment, he was asking you to quantify your assertions, not merely repeat them. So I think calling him a moron is quite ironic.

              And even then you failed to answer his direct question.

              In fact, all you seem to do is evade the important questions posed to you, replacing responses with ad hominem attacks.

              Please refrain from this and get involved in a dialectical process.

            • Joe G

              And CSI has been measured. I demonstrated how to do so with an example.

              And could you please link to this alleged ToE. I doubt it exists.

            • joey, calculate/measure the CSI in a banana, a garter snake, a rock, and a petunia. It should be easy since they’re all common.

            • Joe G

              They all contain CSI. The minimal bacteria contains CSI. All living organisms contain CSI. And your position still cannot account for CSI.
              And I see that still bothers you. Good.

            • Brilliant. Your argument from ignorance goes like this:

              Can you prove by positive evidence that evolution is unguided?

              Can you prove unicorns don;t exist with positive evidence? I can, using Ockham’s Razor, and finding no evidence of supernatural influence, suppose with massive probability the lack guidance in evolution. You could even refer to Jeff Lowder’s Argument from the History of Sciences. But since YOU are asserting an affirmative entity in YOUR theory, you need to provide evidence. Especially since, as the non-consensus, the burden of proof is on you.

              Aah, but transposons!

              And what?

              They prove what?

              Guidance!

              How?

              You don;t know the argument? You fool! (here follow more ad homs) Guided evolution! Goddidit! Ignorance!

              And so on.

              And you still fail to provide ANY idea of what the designer is, or the criteria which is enacted. You keep nebulously referring to vague things. I will not do the work for you. You come here and try to prove YOUR theory, the burden is on you to do so.

              So far, you have miserably failed.

              I still don’t get your insistence that transposons require guidance. Why? Because you never explain anything, just assert and shout. Please change the way you comment, or do not comment.

            • joey, my “position” doesn’t have to account for CSI, because “CSI” (and the way you ID pushers arbitrarily define it) is a term that you use as a basis for your ID claims. You’re the ones who have to “account” for “CSI”.

              So all living organisms contain CSI, eh? How about dead organisms or parts of dead organisms? Does a dead Opossum on a road contain CSI? Assuming the dead Opossum is still in one piece, does it contain more or less CSI than a live Opossum? Does a human finger nail contain CSI? What if the fingernail is no longer attached to the human? Does a fossilized whale bone or fossilized snail shell contain CSI? How about 150 million year old dinosaur tracks?

              Does an Indian Elephant contain more or less CSI than an African Elephant? Does it matter what size, age, or gender they are? Do atoms or molecules contain CSI? Does it matter which atoms or molecules they are? Does a Mourning Cloak Butterfly contain more or less CSI than a Bald Faced Hornet? When a person eats a cake (or caek), does the person eat CSI? If so, how much CSI is in the cake (or caek) and what exactly is the information in the complex specified information that the person eats?

              Will you name ten Earthly things (that don’t pertain to humans and that aren’t biological) that don’t contain CSI?

              Will you name ten Earthly things that are not designed?

            • Joe G

              Your position cannot account for anything. THAT is the whole problem. Ya see, moron, it doesn’t matter what you call it, your position cannot account for biology.

            • joey, if the ID agenda is as sciency as you ID pushers claim, why won’t you answer questions that should be easy for you to answer? After all the years that you and other IDiots have been pushing the CSI claims, you and they should be able to calculate/measure and explain the ‘contained’ CSI in lots and lots of things, such as bananas, frogs, rocks, etc., especially when considering the extensive scientific research that goes on in ID labs (LOL), including your superbly outfitted basement lab (LMAO). Even if you were to claim that something contains no CSI you should be able to show how you came to that conclusion. Is there anything in the entire universe that doesn’t contain CSI? Is there anything in the entire universe that wasn’t/isn’t designed? Does allah contain CSI?

              You said:

              “And plate tectonics is evuidence for ID- just read “The Privileged Planet””

              So, plates and plate movements are designed, eh? How exactly do you know that? Using ID ‘science’, will you please predict when and where the next 7.0 or greater earthquake will occur? ID ‘science’ does make specific, accurate predictions, doesn’t it?

              What is your testable hypothesis for designed plate tectonics? Don’t skimp on the details.

            • I see you AGAIN REFUSE to answer any questions posted to you. If you continue to do this, whilst shouting your own demands, you will be banned. Please answer the questions.

            • Joe G

              I will answer all RELEVANT questions. OTOH you never will.

            • The questions asked of you are relevant, joey. You just don’t have any relevant answers for them.

            • Are you referring to your cake/caek example?

            • Joe G

              Nope, the definition I provided in that same post.

        • SmilodonsRetreat

          Here’s the discussion (including Joe) of the Hazen paper>
          http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/?p=501&cpage=1#comments

          Turns out all of the members of the first paper are creationists. There’s some interesting discussion about the authors here: http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2008/04/guelph-creationists.html

          That’s not to say that ID proponents can’t do good work. But in general, they don’t. I guess we’ll see if Meyer’s new book is the ‘game changer’ that was supposed to be Sig in the Cell… and The Edge of Evolution… and Darwin’s Black Box were all supposed to be.

          Meanwhile, evolution still works and ID doesn’t do anything.

          • Joe G

            Unguided evolution can’t even be tested. OTOH Intelligent Design Evolution is exemplified in genetic and evolutionary algorithms.

            • No it’s not. Because you cannot even remotely define ID past vagueness. You cannot and do not posit any design criteria. You fit any criteria to evidence ex post facto. That is so unscientific as to not be funny. Until you can make accurate predictions, and those predictions to come true in a meaningful sense, you ain’t got nothing by an unknown set of unknowns posited to explain everything.

            • Joe G

              John,
              Nice projection. YOU can’t post any criteria. You can’t post any positive evidence and your position doesn’t make any predictions.
              I challenge anyone to post one prediction borne from blind and undirected chemical processes.

            • There you go again. You can look at any evidence that could ever exist and claim that there is some kind of God who would want it so, we just don;t know their mind. This is the very definition of ad hoc.

              Because without defining your God or the design criteria of your God, you can literally spout whatever nonsense you want and claim design. It is a gutless pursuit.

              You essentially ask us to prove a negative. We have to prove there is no guidance. Of course, it depends what your threshold is for proof.

              Given no evidence FOR design, it would be rather more plausible to argue for no designer.

              And given the amount of SHIT design out there in the natural world, I would posit a lack of guidance, or a dick for a God. You choose.

              As Jerry Cyne says: “Why do cave fish have nonfunctional eyes? That’s bad design for sure. You could impute it to the quirks of God, but isn’t it more parsimonious to conclude (and we know this independently from molecular data) that those fish evolved from fully-eyed fish that lived above the ground? Similarly, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, beloved of Dawkins and myself as a wonderful piece of evidence for evolution (see our books), is way longer than it need be — but that excessive length is completely understandable given the evolutionary history of that nerve, which once innervated the gills in our ancestors.

              Over and over again, bad designs make sense as byproducts of evolution. They make no sense if you posit that they’re the product of a creator’s whim — UNLESS you think that creator’s whim was to fool us into thinking that life had evolved. And who wants to believe in a god like that?”

              And again:

              “We see no evidence that it’s supervised, and there could be evidence that it is supervised. That evidence could include teleological forces behind evolution, pure directionality instead of responses to environmental contingencies, and a mutational process that is biased toward adaptive mutations. But we have no such evidence.”

              And further:

              “No, saying that we detect no purpose in evolution is simply a statement about reality. We detect no purpose in an ice cube’s melting at room temperature, either, but is it a theological statement to say that? If not, then is saying that there are no small godlets occasionally igniting the gas in my car cylinder also a theological statement? And is the statement that the throw of a die is guided purely by physical forces also a theological assertion? (Elliott Sober apparently thinks that’s a theological—or at least a philosophical—asssertion.) If we have to put disclaimers in every science class that “this mechanism appears purely natural, but of course we can’t absolutely rule out that it’s directed by God,” then we might as well stop doing science.”

            • Joe G

              Whatevber Jonathon- I noticed that you didn’t link to the alleged theory of evolution nor did you provide a testable hypothesis for unguided evolution.
              And this alleged shit design is much, much better than any human can do.
              And no, I do NOT ask you to prove a negative. I am asking you for POSITIVE evidence for your claims. Coyne’s bald assertions mean nothing. He cannot provide any evidence for unguided evolution, all he has are religious arguments.

            • “Whatevber Jonathon”

              Wow, that’s good debating.

            • Joe G

              Look at you! You can’t even support your claims- no theory and no testable hypothsis.
              life is good.

            • Shifting the burden of proof is no way to conduct an argument. You will need to answer my points before we go on.

              Of course, if you claim evolution is true, only it is guided, you would also need to provide a testable hypothesis for your claim… But before we get on to that, you need to answer my points.

            • Joe G

              I didn’t shift anything. If you cannot provide a testable hypothesis for evolutionism then ID doesn’t have to, either though IDists have provided such a thing.
              And you haven’t made any points to answer. You don’t seem to know anything.

            • Please do a better job at responding to these points:

              You can look at any evidence that could ever exist and claim that there is some kind of God who would want it so, we just don;t know their mind. This is the very definition of ad hoc.

              Because without defining your God or the design criteria of your God, you can literally spout whatever nonsense you want and claim design. It is a gutless pursuit.

              You essentially ask us to prove a negative. We have to prove there is no guidance. Of course, it depends what your threshold is for proof.

              Given no evidence FOR design, it would be rather more plausible to argue for no designer.

              And given the amount of SHIT design out there in the natural world, I would posit a lack of guidance, or a dick for a God. You choose.

              As Jerry Cyne says: “Why do cave fish have nonfunctional eyes? That’s bad design for sure. You could impute it to the quirks of God, but isn’t it more parsimonious to conclude (and we know this independently from molecular data) that those fish evolved from fully-eyed fish that lived above the ground? Similarly, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, beloved of Dawkins and myself as a wonderful piece of evidence for evolution (see our books), is way longer than it need be — but that excessive length is completely understandable given the evolutionary history of that nerve, which once innervated the gills in our ancestors.

              Over and over again, bad designs make sense as byproducts of evolution. They make no sense if you posit that they’re the product of a creator’s whim — UNLESS you think that creator’s whim was to fool us into thinking that life had evolved. And who wants to believe in a god like that?”

              And again:

              “We see no evidence that it’s supervised, and there could be evidence that it is supervised. That evidence could include teleological forces behind evolution, pure directionality instead of responses to environmental contingencies, and a mutational process that is biased toward adaptive mutations. But we have no such evidence.”

              And further:

              “No, saying that we detect no purpose in evolution is simply a statement about reality. We detect no purpose in an ice cube’s melting at room temperature, either, but is it a theological statement to say that? If not, then is saying that there are no small godlets occasionally igniting the gas in my car cylinder also a theological statement? And is the statement that the throw of a die is guided purely by physical forces also a theological assertion? (Elliott Sober apparently thinks that’s a theological—or at least a philosophical—asssertion.) If we have to put disclaimers in every science class that “this mechanism appears purely natural, but of course we can’t absolutely rule out that it’s directed by God,” then we might as well stop doing science.”

            • Joe G

              Jonathan- “bad design” arguments have been dealt with ad nauseum. For one they are THEOLOGICAL arguments, not scientific. What part of that don’t you understand?
              Did you know taht transposons, for example, carry within their DNA sequence the coding for two of the enzymes it requires to “jump around”?
              And I do not posit God, just a designer. And no one said the design had to be perfect, BORING or that if it started out that way that it had to remain perfect. What we now observe is the result of years of abuse. Not only that our imperfections help us learn.

              And I am asking you to present POSITIVE evidence for your position. And obviously you don’t know what evidence is because Darwin’s whole point was to explain away the observed design in biology.

            • And I do not posit God, just a designer. And no one said the design had to be perfect, BORING or that if it started out that way that it had to remain perfect. What we now observe is the result of years of abuse. Not only that our imperfections help us learn.

              And this was my criticism. Since you are positing nothing about the designer, and therefore about the design criteria, your hypothesis is pointless, and any evidence merely ad hoc.

              You cannot make one testable prediction. Which is so ironic given your claims and accusations.

              A designer not being God? What, so aliens? If it is God, then you get into ontological wrangles involving personalities and traits which constrain and define the design. You have simply failed to address anything adequately.

            • Joe G

              We do NOT have to know the designer before inferring design. We infer design when necessity and chance cannot explain something AND it matches the design criteia (which Behe laid out in “Darwin’s Black Box”)
              OTOH your position’s “criteria = “anything but design!”

            • But this is so bloody fundamentally flawed, it’s not funny.

              Because you ask us for evidence of no design, and then REFUSE to give evidence of design criteria, designer etc. In fact, you whole argument is an argument from ignorance, whilst also appealing to ignorance. You fail to answer any calls for info about the design or design criteria such that it is nebulously “anything which you might see in nature”.

              In other words:

              Observer: Look, this organism has X, this one Y, this one a broken version of X!

              Joe: Well, the designer COULD want X here, Y here and a broken X here!

              Observer: Er, what evidence do you have of that?

              Joe: Look, I? don’t understand transposons, so your theory can’t be true.

              Observer: That is your positive evidence for design?

              And so on.

              “AND it matches the design criteria (which Behe laid out in “Darwin’s Black Box”)”

              So tell us, oh clever one – WHAT is the design criteria that explains ALL and EVERY and EACH example of EVERYTHING in the universe?

              Because earthquakes, mutations, extinctions, adaption to environment and so on are what would be expected on naturalism.

              Your argument is so weak and nebulous, your rhetoric so strong and arrogant, I am amazed you are not a poe.

            • Joe G

              No Jonathan, I ask for POSITIVE evidence that blind and undirected processes can actually do something. What the fuck is wrong with you?

              I have provided the design criteria. I have provided the methodology used for determining design.

              I understand transposons, that is why they scream of design. And obvioulsy YOU don’t even have an argument.
              BTW your entire position relies on our ignorance.

            • Thank you for your civilised words.

              Positive evidence for a negative? For a lack of guidance?

              Transposons are positive evidence for something you can’t even define? What kind of a crappy hypothesis is that?

              You only ever seem to negatively argue. You can’t positively argue because you have NO IDEA what you are arguing for.

              Well, you do. But you are too coward to admit it, because as soon as you do, you realise that your designer and design criteria will be ripped to shreds on the evidence we have.

              “BTW your entire position relies on our ignorance.”

              Ha ah aha ha ha ahah ha hah ah!

              That is priceless. Your entire argument is indeed that. “Ooh, I can’t explain transposons, so God”.

              Goddidit, the theory for those with no intellectual balls. Nice.

            • Joe G

              Are you saying that your position is nothing but a negative and therefor you cannot provide any positive evidence for it?

              Then it ain’t science Jonathan.

              And we can all see that you have no balls at all- you refuse to provide a testable hypothesis for unguided evolution- even though the contest would mandate such a thing. IOW you are proving that anyone who takes up the challenge has lost before they even began.

              Transposons are evidence for design because they match the criteria. And all your position can say is “There they are. Look, they can move around. Must be the work of the blind watchmaker.”

              And does saying Stonehenge was designed mean that archaeologists don’t have any intellectual balls? Where do you draw the line between design being a ballsy call and design being a no-balls call?

              Mother nature can make stones but she can’t make a Stonehenge?

            • joey said:

              “…even though the contest would mandate such a thing.”

              The contest? Does the ‘winner’ get a blue ribbon? It’s all about ‘winning’ to you god pushers, isn’t it? Winning souls, winning authority, winning ‘contests’, winning arguments, winning control. Instead you should try to EARN respect.

              Hey joey, in the “contest” between allah-did-it, yhwh-jesus-holy-ghost-did-it, Zeus-did-it, one-of-the-many-Devas-did-it, Fifi-the-pink-unicorn-did-it, the-Flying-Spaghetti-Monster-did-it, Ra-did-it, aliens-did-it, and all the other did-its, is a testable hypothesis mandated for each one? If so, why don’t you start by providing a testable hypothesis for allah-did-it? After all, you can’t legitimately say that all the other did-its that people have ever thought up are or may be wrong unless you at least have a testable hypothesis for allah-did-it, right?

              Of course I know what you’re going to say; that you and the other ID pushers are not asserting that there is a “God” or a particular “God” and that you’re only scientifically positing a generic ‘designer’, but everyone knows that that’s a crock.

              Science, including evolutionary theory, has many testable and tested hypotheses. You ID pushers expect and demand science to provide, RIGHT NOW, lots and lots of irrefutable, positive evidence of the origin and action of everything in the universe, no matter how minute or ancient, that has ever existed/occurred but you don’t provide anything but your dishonest, religiously/politically motivated assertions and some pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo to ‘support’ your ‘position’.

              Tell us about your testable hypothesis and the scientific discoveries you’ve made in your basement lab (the one you say scientists would be jealous of) that support or prove your ‘position’. You like to say “prove it”, so let’s see you apply your demands to yourself and ‘prove’ your ‘position’.

            • Joe G

              LoL! Hey moron, this thread is about a contest. And unguided evolution can’t muster one testable hypothesis- you are a liar.
              And no, you don’t get to tell me what IDists demand. You are nothing but a belligerent ass.

            • Andy_Schueler

              And we can all see that you have no balls at all- you refuse to provide a testable hypothesis for unguided evolution- even though the contest would mandate such a thing.

              Every single hypothesis that is tested within the framework of evolutionary biology is testing “unguided” evolution because evolution does not involve “guidance” as an explanans in any way, shape or form.

              Transposons are evidence for design because they match the criteria.

              So, “criteria for design” = “they carry within their DNA sequence the coding for two of the enzymes that allow the genes to move around”.
              I fail to see any logical connection between transposons and “design” – just like every other molecular biologist that ever worked on transposons in the last seventy years. You certainly did not explain what the logical connection is supposed to be.

              And all your position can say is “There they are. Look, they can move around. Must be the work of the blind watchmaker.”

              As of today, Pubmed lists 6712 research articles and reviews that mention “transposon(s)” and / or “transposable elements” in title and / or abstract and 22846 papers if those keywords occur anywhere in the article.
              I´d challenge you to find a single one of those which could be adequately summarized by “There they are. Look, they can move around. Must be the work of the blind watchmaker.”

            • Joe G

              .

              Every single hypothesis that is tested within the framework of evolutionary biology is testing “unguided” evolution because evolution does not involve “guidance” as an explanans in any way, shape or form.

              That’s a joke, right? It is certainly meaningless.

              So, “criteria for design” = “they carry within their DNA sequence the coding for two of the enzymes that allow the genes to move around”

              No, the criteria is in “Darwin’s Black Box”, just as I said.
              And I challenge YOU to find any peer-reviewed work that supports unguided evolution.

            • Andy_Schueler

              That’s a joke, right? It is certainly meaningless.

              Again, Evolutionary Biology does not invoke “guidance” as an explanans in any way, shape or form – just like meteorology or geology do not invoke “guidance” as an explanans in any way, shape or form. Biological evolution is by definition unguided, which means that every hypothesis tested in this framework is testing “unguided evolution” (the “unguided” in this phrase is redundant).

              No, the criteria is in “Darwin’s Black Box”, just as I said.

              “If I don´t understand it, it must be magic” is not science.

              And I challenge YOU to find any peer-reviewed work that supports unguided evolution.

              See for example:
              http://www.amazon.de/Evolution-Nicholas-H-Barton/dp/0879696842/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364898661&sr=8-1
              and references therein.

              Although you might want to start with:
              http://www.amazon.de/Evolution-Dummies-Lifestyles-Paperback/dp/0470117737/ref=sr_1_1?s=books-intl-de&ie=UTF8&qid=1364898731&sr=1-1
              and:
              http://www.amazon.de/Campbell-Biology-Jane-B-Reece/dp/1408276801/ref=sr_1_2?s=books-intl-de&ie=UTF8&qid=1364898755&sr=1-2

              to catch up with the basics.

            • Joe G

              Again, Evolutionary Biology does not invoke “guidance” as an explanans in any way, shape or form – just like meteorology or geology do not invoke “guidance” as an explanans in any way, shape or form.

              Well unguided evolution doesn’t have any support. There isn’t even a testable hypothesis for the claim.

              Biological evolution is by definition unguided,

              No. Biological evolution is just a change in allele frequency over time. It says nothing about being unguided. NOTHING. Being unguided is just someone’s unwarranted addition.

              And your position = “I don’t understand it, it must be the magical blind watchmaker.”

              And your literature bluff is duly noted. I am sure that you cannot find anythung that shows how it was determined that evolution is unguided.

              BTW, guidance is an explanan- it is used in arcaheology, forensic science and SETI. Also Dawkins said if biology is designed then that changes everything.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Well unguided evolution doesn’t have any support. There isn’t even a testable hypothesis for the claim.

              There are hundreds of testable and tested hypotheses for this claim. Try to read a book on the subject.

              No. Biological evolution is just a change in allele frequency over time. It says nothing about being unguided. NOTHING. Being unguided is just someone’s unwarranted addition.

              1. Your argument could just as well be used to argue that “plate tectonics is just motion of the earth´s lithosphere, it says NOTHING about being unguided”, meaning that it could JUST AS WELL be magical invisible demons who push tectonic plates around”. This would not be one iota dumber than what you are trying to argue here.
              2. Magical invisible demons are superfluous to explain plate tectonics because demonstrably real forces like gravity, earth rotation and earth mantle dynamics explain the observed phenomena without invoking “guidance” / “magic” (although this strictly does not rule out the “hypothesis” that invisible magical demons interact in some completely unknown way with plate tectonics because this “hypothesis” is not specific enough to be disproven (i.e. it is compatible with EVERY observation and refuted by none, just like ID)). In the same way, magic / “design” is superfluous in evolutionary biology, because demonstrably real and unguided processes like mutations, recombination, horizontal gene transfer, natural and sexual selection, genetic drift, phenotypic plasticity etc. pp. explain the observed phenomena.
              3. Every scientific theory is incomplete, pointing out specific examples that are not understood in detail (e.g. the n-body problem in physics or the transition from ribozymes to protein enzymes in biology) and arguing that the lack of an explanation means it must be magic is unscientific and frankly, idiotic.

              And your position = “I don’t understand it, it must be the magical blind watchmaker.”

              No, my position depends on how well the phenomenon in question is understood and is either “phenomenon x is well understood as described in [insert scientific literature here]” or “phenomenon y is not well understood and current research strands currently include [insert scientific literature here]”.
              Don´t project your ignorance on others.

              And your literature bluff is duly noted. I am sure that you cannot find anythung that shows how it was determined that evolution is unguided.

              You asked for peer-reviewed literature, I provided peer-reviewed literature. If you now decide to lie about the literature provided, your choice.

              BTW, guidance is an explanan- it is used in arcaheology, forensic science and SETI.

              1. I didn´t say anywhere that guidance is never used as an explanans, I said that it is not used as an explanans in evolutionary biology (not counting artificial selection of course).
              2.Curiously, no practicioner of archaeology, forensic science or SETI ever used ID methods in their work and that ID is completely and utterly irrelevant to research that is going on in these fields. Also curious that spokespeople for SETI explicitly condemn ID as unscientific bullshit: http://www.space.com/1826-seti-intelligent-design.html .

            • Joe G

              No Andy, there isn’t anything that supports unguided evolution. And it is very noticeable that YOU cannot provide a testable hypothesis for unguided evolution. That tells me everything I need to know. And evolution doesn’t merit “theory” status.

              And plate tectonics is evuidence for ID- just read “The Privileged Planet”

              And equating plate tectonics with biology just shows your desperation. A computer’s output is guided, Andy.

              BTW scientific explanations do include agency involvement, design and guidance.

              And again, all you did was post a literature BLUFF. I have read many books by evos- peer-reviewed articles too. Not one says anything about how they determined evolution is unguided. Even Theobald’s 29 evidences does NOT mention a mechanism.

              As for that SETI spokeman- what he said totally supports ID.
              :

              SETI and Intelligent Design

            • Andy_Schueler

              No Andy, there isn’t anything that supports unguided evolution. And it is very noticeable that YOU cannot provide a testable hypothesis for unguided evolution.

              Yawn, we´ve been there before while you were still commenting as frisbee_kid. I´ve already given you three specific examples:
              1. Evolution requires a strict nested hierarchy on all levels of biological organization (genes, morphology, development etc.), which can be precisely quantified using the consistency index for example:
              http://nunn.rc.fas.harvard.edu/groups/pica/wiki/8b274/
              => phylogenetic trees are significantly hierarchical using such measurements (if they would not be, evolution would be dead in the water). “Guided evolution” on the other requires no such thing and could easily produce patterns that lead to non-hierarchical trees.
              Your response to this was a quite funny demonstration of your complete and utter ignorance of what a “nested hierarchy” is.
              2. Evolution requires that the occurance of mutations is strictly independent of the fitness delta they cause, “guided evolution” on the other hand requires no such thing.
              3. Evolution requires that neutral or nearly neutral mutations show fixation times consistent with the mathematical framework of population genetics.
              “Guided evolution” requires no such thing.
              Your response to 2+3 was an even funnier and completely moronic misunderstanding of Lenski´s results regarding Cit+ E. coli´s (fixation time of >20000(!!) generations in 1 out of 12 bacterial strains growing on petri dishes (meaning relatively low effective population sizes for bacteria and thus a comparatively low efficacy of genetic drift) demonstrates fixation faster than expected by drift according to your misunderstandings – that was seriously funny dude ;-) ).

              I could expand this list arbitrarily, there are dozens of hypothesis were evolution strictly requires a particular result while “guided evolution” does not. But this seems to be pointless because you are too ignorant to understand the required material and because you are unteachable.

              And plate tectonics is evuidence for ID- just read “The Privileged Planet”

              IDiot astrophycisist understands plate tectonics better than all geophycisists on this planet, got it.

              And equating plate tectonics with biology just shows your desperation. A computer’s output is guided, Andy.

              Meaningless gibberish.

              BTW scientific explanations do include agency involvement, design and guidance.

              Some do (e.g. parts of forensics) most don´t (e.g. Biology, Chemistry and Physics).

              And again, all you did was post a literature BLUFF. I have read many books by evos- peer-reviewed articles too.

              You should start with the basics of Biology esp. Molecular Biology because you demonstrably do not even begin to understand those papers you allegedly read (see your hilarious misunderstandings of Lenski or those papers on “non-random integration” of TEs you posted in the other thread.
              You are currently unable to have an informed opinion on the subject because you do not understand the basic concepts required.

              Not one says anything about how they determined evolution is unguided.

              And geophycisists don´t mention how they ruled out magical invisible demons interacting in a completely unknown way with plate tectonics. Those bastards! This is not how science works genius. We require positive evidence for entities and processes, we don´t infer the actions of magical demons / designers from a lack of understanding.
              Btw, some mutational processes are understood on the quantum level, including all excited and transitional quantum states – chemistry is unguided by definition, if you disagree with that, pester quantum chemists and leave biologists alone.

              As for that SETI spokeman- what he said totally supports ID.

              IDiots understand SETI better than people that actually work with SETI, got it.

            • Joe G

              Andy,

              An Army is a nested hiearchy. Just about anything can be placed into a nested hierarchy. However with gradual evolution we would expect to see a smooth blending of deining traits, and that would ruin a nested hierarchy based on traits.

            • Andy_Schueler

              An Army is a nested hiearchy. Just about anything can be placed into a nested hierarchy.

              No. In fact, most things that are designed can not be placed objectively in a nested hierarchy (hint: whether the distribution of features is hierarchical or not can be precisely quantified and statistically tested) . Take cars or watches, or computers for example (because technological novelties (e.g. Airbags or Navigation systems for cars) could be included in ALL models, and their inclusion usually reflects the price of the product, not how close it is related to another product (no matter how you measure “relation” – common manufacturer, common inspirations etc. – all lead to the same result)).
              Such a free mixing of features that is not constrained by a relationship like common descent would lead to trees that are not significantly hierarchical or even anti-hierarchical.
              Just try it for yourself, define a similarity matrix for cars (or computers, or cell phones) in the same way Biologists define one based on morphology (or development or what have you), then infer a UPGMA or NJ (you could also use ML or bayesian statistics, but you would have to customize the statistical model yourself for such a non-standard application) phylogenetic tree for this matrix (virtually all software for this is freely available, use phylip for example) – and calculate the consistency index (or any comparable measurement for which a test statistic is available). Then compare this to the consistency index for the trees of ten randomly chosen gene families and for the trees for plants and animals inferred from morphology.
              You´ll see the difference – one kind of trees is significantly hierarchical (the ones for biological entities), while the other is not (the trees for virtually all designed entities).

              Linneaus, a Creationist, made his nested hierarchy based on a common design.

              True, as I said, common design is trivially compatible with a strict nested hierarchy, but it would also be trivially compatible with an anti-hierarchical distribution of features and anything in between. Since “Design” has no constraints whatsoever (can you explain precisely what the “Designers” could NOT do ?), “Design” is trivially compatible with any observation, but also refuted by none and supported by none. Common descent on the other hand makes specific predictions and thus can lead to hypotheses that refute or support the claim (three of which are mentioned above).

              And I will put up $10,000 US to prove that I understand nested hierarchies better than you.

              CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
              Now let me prove that up until at least two months ago, you did not have the foggiest clue about what a nested hierarchy is. You (commenting as user “frisbee_kid” (do you deny that this was you ?)), posted the following comment:

              As for nested hierarchies- LoL!. The fact that the theory of evolution posits a gradual change, which means there would be many, many transitional forms, it is clar that the theory does not expect a nested hierarchy based on traits. Transitional forms by definition means there would be organisms with a ixture of defining traits, which would ruin a nested hierarchy based on traits.

              Link
              => Ergo, you were completely and utterly clueless about what nested hierarchies are just two months ago, and anything you might know about it has been learned within this timeframe. I on the other hand studied Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics and study phylogenetic trees (which requires an understanding of nested hierarchies) regularly at work since roughly five years (if I count the time since I started working mostly independently) and my work has been published in peer-reviewed journals.
              Evidence for those claims can of course be provided and I´ll happily provide you with copies of my academic certificates and publications (and my bank account of course).
              Now I hope you honor your commitment and thanks a lot for ten thousand bucks! :-)

              And I have taken basic biology courses. I ghave taken advanced courses too. So have the thousands of biologists who say that unguided evolution is bogus and untestable.

              Riiiiight. Thousands of Biologists! And here I am working as a Biologist and have never met a single one of those alleged “thousands of Biologists”, not at work, not at a conference and even if you count my online activities I have encountered just ONE Biologist (who studied Biology but does not work as a Biologist) who happens to doubt Evolution (which is by definition unguided).
              Hell, not even for that ridiculous “Dissent from Darwin list”, which includes quite a lot of engineers but VERY few Biologists, could you find those “thousands of Biologists”, which leads me to believe that you simply made this shit up.
              Btw, I don´t know many Biologists who would NOT agree with this statement:
              “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
              => Because few Biologists are so ignorant about evolution as to reduce it to “random mutation and natural selection” (which wouldn´t explain the Peacock´s tail or Stickleback armor or Intronization events – to mention just three examples out of thousands of possibilities).

              Positive evidence for entities has been presented.

              Your “positive evidence” amounts to “I don´t understand it, which means no one else understands it, which means it cannot be understood in principle, which means it must be magic.”
              Hint: an argument from ignorance is actually the precise opposite of “positive evidence”.

              OTOH you don’t have any evidence for unguided evolution. All you have are bald declarations.

              Now you are just lying, you can´t be that stupid. I´ve walked you through three specific examples in a way that even a complete idiot should be able to understand. And your replies so far amount to hilarious misunderstandings of Lenski´s work and nested hierarchies and to this lie right here.

              And IDists understand ID better than SETI researchers.

              What is there to understand ? To be a Cdesign Proponentsist, you could simply take a creationist “textbook” and replace all instances of “God” by “Designer” and “Creationists” by “Design proponents” (or Cdesign proponentsists if you are too stupid for the job). Alternatively, you simply make up new shit as you go along – take CSI for example, it´s simply hilarious to watch you guys come up with countless totally different (but all equally useless and inconsistent) definitions. How about we compare CSI sensu Dembski (all different versions of course), sensu VJ Torley, sensu KairosFocus and sensu seven other randomly selected Cdesign proponentsists, that should be fun, shouldn´t it ? ;-).

              If you ask ten different Evolutionary Biologists about the mean and variance of fixation times for neutral mutations in an asexual population of a given size (for example), they will all give you the exact same answer (and could even provide you with a mathematical proof and experimental evidence). And that is the difference between scientists and Cdesign proponentsists.

            • Joe G

              No, Andy- it all depends on what criteria is used- just ask the nested hierarchy experts- I have.

              And I am correct- transitional forms, by their very nature, contain a MIX of defining characteristics. THAT violates a nested hierarchy. Obvioulsy you don’t know anything about nested hierarchies and you think that your ignorance refutes me.

              If you have a mix of traits then a nested hierarchy is violated. period. End of story.
              Design is NOT compatible with any observation. You are just ignorant.
              Then there is the FACT that prokaryotes do NOT fit into a strict nested hierarchy.
              Geez Dr Denton went over that in “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis”.

              And please demonstrate that evolution prevents traits from being mixed and matched. What is the law that prevents such a thing.

              Ya see evolutionism is OK with any pattern- that is obvious by the total lack of nested hierarchy wrt prokaryotes.

              And you didn’t walk anyone through anything wrt unguided evolution.

              Oh and no evo can demonstrate the fixation of any allele.

            • joey said:

              “Design is NOT compatible with any observation.”

              Such as?

            • Don’t expect him to answer. He never does.

            • And yet joey has the gall to call other people cowards, while he’s running from answering very relevant questions. He’s all mouth and no substance.

            • Joe G

              Anything and everything that nature, operating freely, can account for.
              How many times do you have to be told that?

            • Nature operating freely, joey? Do you mean nature operating without any influence whatsoever from ‘the supernatural-designer-creator-allah’? If so, how is that even possible if all of nature originated via the poofing magic of ‘the-supernatural-designer-creator-allah’ and if all of nature operates via the software that was front-loaded by ‘the-supernatural-designer-creator-allah’?

              You regularly claim that ID is “all about origins” and that nature could not have originated via natural processes/events, and that it was/is designed by ‘the designer’, and that front-loaded software is what operates nature, and that if something is designed its subsequent operation and guided evolution will be due to its original design, so HOW, considering YOUR claims, can anything in nature (which is everything, everywhere) operate “freely”?

              Name ten things that “nature, operating freely, can account for”.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Joe G.: “Design is NOT compatible with any observation.”

              The whole truth: Such as?

              Joe G.: Anything and everything that nature, operating freely, can account for.

              Your answer makes no sense. A scientific hypothesis must make specific predictions about observations that would support it and about observations that would refute it. All hypotheses that are part of the framework of evolutionary theory provide that. Yet ALL you have to provide is that “Design” is incompatible with ” Anything and everything that nature, operating freely, can account for”.

              So, “nature operating freely” being able to account for anything (you didn´t give any specifics and I´m not going to specify it for you) would refute the hypothesis that “an unknown number of unknown designers of unknown nature interacted in unknown ways at unknown points in time for unknown reasons with the emergence and / or diversification of life on earth” (if this is NOT the hypothesis you try to defend, you have to be specific and define what your hypothesis entails exactly).

              So far, since your hypothesis is maximally unspecific, it is trivial to refute:
              Nature, operating by itself, accounts for rainbows. Ergo, your hypothesis has been refuted
              I obviously agree that nature being able to account for rainbows has nothing to do with the emergence and diversification of life – but my refutation of your “hypothesis” (it is more an incoherent idea than a hypothesis at the moment) is logically completely valid as long as you don´t provide something more specific.

              Have fun coming up with a real hypothesis, you would be the first Cdesign proponentsist to do so.
              Oh, btw – you will encounter the problem of you could possibly know that the “Designers” can NOT “design” anything that “nature operating freely” could account for, I´m afraid you would have to do some theology there.

            • And prokaryotes not fitting into a tree of life / nested hierarchy format (given if the case) proves guided evolution over unguided evolution how?

              Oh. it doesn’t.

            • Joe G

              Jonathan,
              If, big if, you were able to follow along you would see that prokaryotes not falling into a strict nested hierarchy refutes Andy’s claim that unguided evolution predicts one.

            • Andy_Schueler

              No, Andy- it all depends on what criteria is used- just ask the

              nested hierarchy experts- I have.

              There is only one criterion – does the data show significant hierarchical structure or not. Which means you need a measurement for “hierarchical” and an associated test statistic. Established measures would be the consistency index for example (key publication here). Now, my claim is, that biological entities can be objectively assigned to nested hierarchies (i.e. associated with statistically highly significant measures of hierarchical structure), while most designed objects (watches, cell phones, computers etc.) can not. This has been established for decades in the scientific literature (see publication above + more recent papers that cite it or any textbook on phylogeny inference and references therein (and many of the college level textbooks on Evolutionary Biology)).
              You referring to an anonymous alleged expert on nested hierarchies who contradicts all published literature on the subject is not exactly convincing.

              And I am correct- transitional forms, by their very nature, contain a MIX of defining characteristics. THAT violates a nested hierarchy.

              :-D. Dude, this is about the single dumbest thing that you could have said about this subject, seriously – I really could not imagine a more outrageously stupid comment about nested hierarchies. Let me walk you through that reeeaaal slow. You seem to think that mixing features violates a nested hierarchy. If this would be true (hint: it isn´t), then the very existence of nested hierarchies would be a logical impossibility, because the only collections of entities where there is ZERO mixing of features, are collections where all entities are either exactly identical or completely different.

              But you are not interested in relationships between entities that are identical (it wouldn´t even make sense – imagine a “hierarchy” of 1000 instances of the number 1), you are interested in hierarchies of distinct entities! But since you just ruled out ANY mixing of attributes – you can only classify entities that have NOTHING in common and that all have the SAME distance / similarity to each other (which is INFINITY (or the maximum possible distance otherwise) and ZERO respectively). And a nested hierarchy for entities that have all the EXACT SAME similarity / distance to each other is a logical impossibility. Congratulations! You have just proven, using IDiot logic, that nested hierarchies cannot possibly exist.

              Using actual logic, it looks slightly different, here, entities in a hierarchy can (and always do) mix attributes. And the criterion for a significant hierarchical structure is that the entities do not mix attributes ARBITRARILY, but rather in a hierarchical way (who would have guessed ?!). Which means that the distribution of features in the leaves should be explained as much as possible by their relationship to their parent nodes (if the relation to parent nodes explains 100% of the variation in features at the leaves and all features emerge just once, the consistency index would be 1). What reduces the degree of hierarchical structure is the independent (i.e. not explainable by relation to parent node) emergence of features.

              Will you honor your commitment now and hand over the 10000 bucks or do you chicken out ?

              Obvioulsy you don’t know anything about nested hierarchies and you think that your ignorance refutes me.

              Yes, we´ve seen above how much we both now respectively about nested hierarchies…
              Hint: a big mouth is dangerous when you don´t have the foggiest idea what you are talking about ;-).

              If you have a mix of traits then a nested hierarchy is violated. period. End of story.

              No, as I demonstrated above, using your “understanding” of nested hierarchies, the very existence of nested hierarchies is a logical impossibility.
              Boy do you look like a fool now…

              Then there is the FACT that prokaryotes do NOT fit into a strict nested hierarchy.

              Geez Dr Denton went over that in “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis”.

              Actually, they do. LGT notwithstanding (although LGT obviously does reduce the level of hierarchical structure). But I´d prefer to enter this discussion once you´ve demonstrated that you finally begin to understand what a nested hierarchy even is (another hint: it´s not a binary attribute).

              Design is NOT compatible with any observation. You are just ignorant.

              Oh really, yet neither you, nor any other IDiot, can explain what the alleged “Designers” could NOT do and which constraints are thus put on possible observations if the “Design hypothesis” is true, no matter how often you are asked (as I did above). Which means you are either lying, or stupid. Which one is it ?

              And please demonstrate that evolution prevents traits from being mixed and matched. What is the law that prevents such a thing.

              Actually traits are being mixed, your idiotic misconceptions that ANY mixing of characters violates a nested hierarchy has been addressed above.

              As to your question why evolution from a common ancestor predicts a nested hierarchy of features, I guess we have to start at the very basics (Dude, it get´s less and less believable that you had any Biology classes or any form of higher education for that matter…).
              You might have noticed that children tend to be different from their parents, but still much more similar to them than to randomly chosen other people (and MUCH more similar to them than to a randomly chosen non-human animal). That is because genetic material is actually inherited from your parents (were you homeschooled ?). And, believe it or not, this form of vertical transfer of genetic material is actually by far the most common form of transfer and for many species even the only one. What this means is that the offspring produced in any species will, statistically, always be more similar to their parents than to other individuals individuals that are not their parents and much more similar to their parents than to members of other species. If you extrapolate this process into the future and combine it with the variation (this is caused by so called “Mutation”, but we´ll get to that another time), you get a nested hierarchy of similarities between organisms. Since vertical transmission is dominant over lateral transmission of genetic material, and sometimes even the only mode of transmission, descent with modification from a common ancestor necessarily produces nested hierarchies of similarities (for a mathematical treatment, see Harris, T. E. (1989) The Theory of Branching Processes. New York: Dover.).
              Caveat: the distribution of very fast evolving characters between distantly related taxa will be indistinguishable from random noise (that´s why fast evolving characters are preferred for studying very closely related species while slow evolving ones are preferred for distantly related ones).

              Ya see evolutionism is OK with any pattern

              Ok, you don´t seem to be lying, you seem to be a genuine idiot.

              that is obvious by the total lack of nested hierarchy wrt prokaryotes.

              Actually, prokaryotes show (unsurprisingly since vertical transmission is more frequent than lateral) a highly significant degree of hierarchical structure, which is (again unsurprisingly) lower than the degree of hierarchical structure for species where LGT virtually never happens.

              And you didn’t walk anyone through anything wrt unguided evolution.

              Don´t blame me for your mental deficiency.

              Oh and no evo can demonstrate the fixation of any allele.

              Complete and utter moron, or troll, or both…. After reading this, I´d say it could be any of the three.

            • Joe G

              Umm being hierarchal does NOT mean it is a nested hierarchy.

              As for the transitional forms refuting the nested hierarchy, well that happens to be true. You cannot have an organism that can belong to two different groups- as a mammal-like reptile would. That is indicative of a Venn diagram. Nested hierarchies cannot have any overlaps.

              Again Denton went over all of that- with references- in “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis”

              Summary of the Principles of Hierarchy Theory

              Also, Theobald agrees with me:

              It would be very problematic if many species were found that combined characteristics of different nested groupings. Proceeding with the previous example, some nonvascular plants could have seeds or flowers, like vascular plants, but they do not. Gymnosperms (e.g. conifers or pines) occasionally could be found with flowers, but they never are. Non-seed plants, like ferns, could be found with woody stems; however, only some angiosperms have woody stems. Conceivably, some birds could have mammary glands or hair; some mammals could have feathers (they are an excellent means of insulation). Certain fish or amphibians could have differentiated or cusped teeth, but these are only characteristics of mammals. A mix and match of characters like this would make it extremely difficult to objectively organize species into nested hierarchies. Unlike organisms, cars do have a mix and match of characters, and this is precisely why a nested hierarchy does not flow naturally from classification of cars.

              Really, just look at Linnean classification. Everything is in a nice neat and fully defined set- defined by the characteristics they display.

              So there you have it. You are ignorant wrt nested hierarchies and you think your ignorance trumps knowldge.

            • Andy_Schueler

              As for the transitional forms refuting the nested hierarchy, well that happens to be true. You cannot have an organism that can belong to two different groups – as a mammal-like reptile would. That is indicative of a Venn diagram. Nested hierarchies cannot have any overlaps.

              *sigh*, is this really that difficult to understand ?

              Alright, let´s try it with a little visual aid, a small subset of the mammalian phylogeny:

              ………..——-Human
              ………..|
              …….—|A
              …….|…|
              …….|…——-Chimp
              ——|.C
              …….|…——-Mouse
              …….|…|
              …….|–|B
              ……….|
              ……….——–Rat

              => The common ancestor of Humans and Chimps is actually similar to Humans AND Chimps. And the common ancestor of Primates and Rodents is similar to Primates AND Rodents. Oh Noes! It can´t be a nested hierarchy! The common ancestor of mammals belongs to two different groups and there must be no overlap!!
              Well, actually, it doesn´t belong to different groups, because at this level of classification, there is only ONE group in this phylogeny – if you go down one level, you would have TWO groupings in this phylogeny. C has a higher taxonomic rank than A and B, and A and B have a higher taxonomic rank than the four leaves. Hint: “taxonomic ranks” are things like “Species”, “Genus”, “Family”, “Order”, “Class” etc.

              Did you honestly believe that ancestors must be similar to one of the descending lineages but COMPLETELY different (not even sharing a single character!) from the other one ? And they wonder why we call them IDiots…

              Again Denton went over all of that- with references- in “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis”

              Summary of the Principles of Hierarchy Theory

              Erm, dude…. the link you posted wasn´t written by Denton, and which part of this link exactly do you think supports your moronic misconceptions in any way, shape or form ?

              Also, Theobald agrees with me:

              No, he doesn´t Genius, Theobald says:
              “It would be very problematic if many species were found that combined characteristics of different nested groupings.”
              => Note the “many” and that what Theobald describes here would imply that specific characteristics would have to emerge more than once independently. And now go back to my earlier comment where I said:
              “Which means that the distribution of features in the leaves should be explained as much as possible by their relationship to their parent nodes (if the relation to parent nodes explains 100% of the variation in features at the leaves and all features emerge just once (Hint: all features that DO exist actually must emerge somewhere at least one time…), the consistency index would be 1). What reduces the degree of hierarchical structure is the independent (i.e. not explainable by relation to parent node) emergence of features.
              => You should work on your reading comprehension.

              Really, just look at Linnean classification. Everything is in a nice neat and fully defined set- defined by the characteristics they display.

              :-D. Dude, let me show you something. Here´s the linnean classification of humans from Kingdom to Genus:
              Animalia => Chordata => Mammalia => Primates => Hominidae => Homo
              And here for mice:
              Animalia => Chordata => Mammalia => Rodentia => Muridae => Murinae => Mus

              Oh noes! They share common ancestors which are similar to ALL descendants!!11! There must be no overlap!!
              IDiots trying to do science… always a sight to behold.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Btw, maybe you didn´t get it, but I accepted your challenge.

              We could also have this settled by judges if you prefer. And, since I´m absolutely confident that I am right and you are as wrong as you could possibly be (since your hilarious misconceptions about nested hierarchies are so ridiculous that they would demonstrate that nested hierarchies are a logical impossibility if they were accurate), I let you choose the judges. Hell, they could even be Cdesign proponentsists for all I care.

              All that matters to me is that they can speak with authority about the matter – professional mathematicians (or Computer Scientists) working on classification / clustering problems, mathematicians working on Markovian processes, Biomathematicians, Bioinformaticians working on phylogeny inference etc. – and that they are willing to go on the record with their name and professional affiliation (and thus risking their reputation should they lie about the subject).

              You owe me ten thousand bucks Dude.

            • Joe G

              Andy,
              You still have not linked to anything that demonstrates what a nested hierarchy is. All we have is your word and nothing else.
              And as I have said- Denton has already confirmed what I said. And now Theobald confirms what I have said. One from each side.
              So please produce a valid definition of a nested hierarchy, along with a reference that says how they are constructed (like I have)- it will be the first time you have ever done so.
              Looks like YOU owe my $10,000 US

            • Andy_Schueler

              You still have not linked to
              anything that demonstrates what a nested hierarchy is.

              Actually, I have. But I´ll happily do it again:
              “The arrangement of entities in a hierarchical series of nested classes, in which similar or related classes at one hierarchical level are combined comprehensively into more inclusive classes at the next higher level.”
              For more details, see this article by Ernst Mayr: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1439-0469.2002.00211.x/abstract
              And for much more Details see this book (or ANY other textbook on taxonomy / systematics):
              http://www.amazon.com/Biological-Systematics-Principles-Applications-2nd/dp/0801447992/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365050966&sr=1-1&keywords=Biological+Systematics%3A+Principles+and+Applications

              And as I have said- Denton has already confirmed what I said.

              1. You didn´t link to anything that Denton wrote, you linked to a random article about hierarchies written by a completely different person, which doesn´t support your moronic misconceptions in any way, shape or form.
              2. Denton has about as much authority on this subject as Paris Hilton.
              3. Try providing references to scientific literature.

              And now Theobald confirms what I have said.

              I´ve already pointed out your lack of reading comprehension in the previous comment.

              Looks like YOU owe my $10,000 US

              Dude, again, I let YOU choose the judges. They can even be Cdesign proponentsists for all that I care, as long as they are qualified and willing to go on the record.
              You owe me a lot of money Dude, now it´s time to man up or chicken out.

            • You’re totally outclassed, joey, as usual. Pay up.

            • Is that the same Denton whose book could not pass peer review because it was so erroneous and who has since changed his views on evolution?

              Nice.

            • Joe G

              Only a coward attacks the person and not the evidence.
              Nice
              And please explain in what way his views have changed.

            • “Only a coward attacks the person and not the evidence.”

              WHAT? Did you actually type that with a straight face, joey? NO ONE is more guilty of attacking” the person” than you are.

            • Joe G

              Liar- I never have attacked the person and not the evidence

            • Chump refers to what part of evolutionary theory?

              That’s an incredible denial!

            • Uh, yeah, sure joey/frisbee_kid. Your blog proves otherwise:

              http://intelligentreasoning.blogspot.com/

              And there’s LOTS more on other sites.

            • frisbee_kid

              That link sure as hell doesn’t prove otherwise. I see that you still have mental problems actually making a case.

              Once again you prove that you are an asshole.

            • joey, you really should pay attention to these:

              “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging” – Will Rogers

              “Never miss a good chance to shut up.” – Will Rogers

            • If anyone would like to see another example of joey “I have been calling people “cupcake” for decades Richie. You didn’t invent the word you egomaniac faggot.” gallien’s dishonesty, go here and read through page 193:

              http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=515d996a1d80951c;act=ST;f=14;t=6647;st=5730

              If the link doesn’t take you directly to it, start with the comment posted by Richardhughes on Mar. 21 2013 at 11:34 (about 3/4 of the way down the page).

            • Ha! You see, what is funny is that you are using claims of an author about NH, and he seems to have changed his own opinion on NH. Here is an example:

              Interestingly, it appears that Denton has finally rectified his misunderstanding about nested hierarchies and common descent, since in his latest book he unconditionally assumes the validity of the nested hierarchy, common descent, and the “tree of life” (Denton 1998, pp. 265-298). For example, in the chapter entitled The Tree of Life from Nature’s Destiny, Denton discusses the phylogeny of several closely related species (the primates) and directly contradicts his previous misstatements presented by Camp above:

              “In the case of primate DNA, for example, all the sequences in the hemoglobin gene cluster in man, chimp, gorilla, gibbon, etc., can be interconverted via single base change steps to form a perfect evolutionary tree relating the higher primates together in a system that looks as natural as could be imagined. There is not the slightest indication of any discontinuity.” (Denton 1998, p. 277)

              This was written by the same man who scribed:

              “Each class at a molecular level is unique, isolated and unlinked by intermediates. Thus, molecules, like fossils, have failed to provide the elusive intermediates so long sought by evolutionary theory.” (Denton 1986, p. 290)

              This is taken from a section which deal SPECIFICALLY with Denton and nested hierarchies. As ever, you seem rather behind the times. See http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/camp.html#pred2 and scroll down to “Michael Denton’s views on nested hierarchies”.

              You will notice a criticism of Theobald wrt Denton too!

              Here are some links that YOU should look at on Denton:

              http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/denton.html

              http://ncseweb.org/creationism/analysis/review-evolution-theory-crisis

              http://www.rtis.com/nat/user/elsberry/evobio/evc/argresp/sequence.html

              http://ncse.com/creationism/analysis/review-evolution-theory-crisis

            • Joe G

              Jonathan,
              I can quote Denton saying his argument in “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis” still stand

            • But if he no longer holds that view, then, er, where does that leave your claims? Since it appears that no one but you in the whole sphere of evolutionary theory holds to those claims?

            • frisbee_kid

              He holds the view that “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis” is still a valid argument against evolutionism.
              And what evoltionary theory? You can’t link to it, can you?

            • JoeG:

              Compare:

              “Is that the same Denton whose book could not pass peer review because it was so erroneous and who has since changed his views on evolution?”

              Where I attack his book and view on evolution, with

              “BTW, chump”

              and”You don’t seem to know anything.”

              etc

            • Can YOU provide a testable hypothesis for guided evolution?

            • Joe G

              I can and I have. And others have too.

            • BOOM! and Joe’s ignorance is duly noted, and his arguments crumble like powderpuff.

            • Moreover, though transposons are good indicators or common ancestry, how do you propose they ‘prove’ or are good evidence for guided evolution?

              Unless you are proposing supernatural causality in their inception, which you can no more differentiate from simply being ignorant of naturalistic causation, how do you propose they are evidence?

            • Joe G

              Common ancestry doesn’t say anything about a mechanism. Dr Spetner wrote about how transposons are good evidence for guided evolution in “Not By Chance”. And I cannot be ignorant of that which doesn’t exist- and ID does not require the supernatural.
              Transposons are evidence for design in that they carry within their DNA sequence the coding for two of the enzymes that allow the genes to move around. This requires planning.

            • “Transposons are evidence for design in that they carry within their DNA sequence the coding for two of the enzymes that allow the genes to move around. This requires planning.”

              Why?

              Also, this might interest you:

              http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6108/758.short

            • Your appeal to authority (Dr. Spetner) is noted, joey.

              Hmm, ID does not require the supernatural, eh? Doesn’t that totally contradict all of your assertions about nature not coming from natural processes/events, and that an ‘intelligent designer’ outside of nature was/is required?

              As Jonathan asked you: “What, so aliens?”

              Did aliens design and create everything, joey? If so, who or what designed and created the aliens?

              And since you brought up Stonehenge, did aliens design and build Stonehenge?

            • Oh, and what is your point about transposons? Please be more clear with your posts. In a dialectical process, randomly spouting stuff without any explanation is silly.

            • Joe G

              Unguided evolution cannot explain transposons. But then again unguided evolution seems to be able to nly explain breakage and deterioration.

            • So, joey, are you claiming that “breakage and deterioration” (the imperfect stuff) are due to unguided (natural) evolution but things that enable life forms to improve and thrive (the good or perfect stuff) are due to guided evolution by the designer-creator-god-allah?

              What exactly does explain transposons? Are they front-loaded by the designer-creator-god-allah with software that makes them jump? If so, do you have positive evidence of that?

            • joey said:

              “What we now observe is the result of years of abuse.”

              Are you claiming that all imperfections are caused by “abuse”, and that all of it occurred in a matter of “years”? How many years? And are you referring only to humans? What about animals, plants, viruses, bacteria, etc.? Were they perfect until there were years of abuse? If so, who or what abused them that caused their imperfections? Are diseases and deformities on your list of imperfections? Does “abuse” cause all diseases and deformities and has that always been the case? Does the “abuse” have anything to do with ‘sin’?

              “Not only that our imperfections help us learn.”

              Hmm, so when a person is born with microcephaly, it helps them learn? How about when a deer is born with extra, useless legs or two heads? Does that help the deer learn? And how about an owl that is born without eyes?

            • joey said:

              “Jonathan- “bad design” arguments have been dealt with ad nauseum. For one they are THEOLOGICAL arguments, not scientific. What part of that don’t you understand?”

              If that’s so, doesn’t that make good or perfect design arguments or any design arguments “THEOLOGICAL arguments, not scientific”? When you and your fellow ID pushers argue that “unguided evolution” is ‘bad’ (only breakage and deterioration) aren’t you making a theological (actually, theistic) argument? After all, how can yours not be a theistic argument when you claim that unguided (non-theistic) evolution is bad, but guided (theistic) evolution or non-evolutionary theistic design and creation is good or perfect?

              Hey joey, are all mutations harmful and/or instantly deadly?

            • Joe shies away from ever answering any questions, and from making anything like theoretical statements? Why? Because he KNOWS he will be pwned.

            • Joe G

              Cave fish not having eyes is a GOOD THING. And ID is OK with them evolving from fish with eyes. So I don’t understand the issue- most likely just evo ignorance.
              The laryngeal nerve- again only ignorance says it wasn’t designed and unguided evolution cannot account for nerves.

          • Joe G

            And Kevin, nice of you to ignore my main point- that we do NOT try to measure meaning. Ignorance seems to be your strong suit…

    • Chris Johnson

      No people.
      Only America is devolving. Thanks to Creationists being allowed to ply their ridiculous trade.

      • Ha, nice.

        • John Grove

          This is unfortunately true. I may find myself moving to the U.K soon!

    • Karl

      Cant someone just reference the 17+ court cases on Evolution vs. ID/Creationism and notice the verdicts (all wins for Darwinian Evolution)? We should be touting this more and not giving loonies room to speak anymore.

    • Honestly… I hope no one bothers, unless a scientist really wants 10k. They don’t deserve to have this nonsense touted anymore.

      • Daydreamer1

        It would be another tick in the box for us though. If the guy is actually serious about using scientific standards then it shouldn’t take much more than a few weeks to gather all the necessary data.

    • Jai Ko

      “devolution” IS evolution -_-

      • Daydreamer1

        Biologically there is no distinction, but we can use multiple compasses to judge directions in cultural evolution. Relativism it may well be, but none the less indexes such as scientific literacy can be created and compared – and cultural evolution assessed using them.

        Nice reminder for those who think biological evolution can go ‘backwards’ though.

    • How does Mastropaolo plan on debunking carbon dating?

      • Daydreamer1

        Creationists set about it in many ways, but they tend to be philosophical attacks on physics – such as uncertainties about the speed of light etc.

        I don’t understand how he will try and do this from within the framework of science though. The evidence given will need to be to scientific standards, so to judge that you will use, er, scientific standards.

        Normally theists level an attack at science itself – this looks like he thinks he can step within the scientific magesteria and use scientific methodology and standards to disprove to a scientific standard established scientific facts. I honestly think that this has to be the deepest exhibition of of the creationist delusion I have seen. As people have pointed out, this has been tried with creationists in court. It failed and creationists swapped shoes to become ID proponents (granted that many have now been drawn to ID who are not Christian creationists and would never want to be associated with them). ID too also failed in court. Those were all scientific tests with established scientists testifying and describing the science in court. They won them all.

        My degree is in geology. The amount of geology I have forgotten is more than this guy knows. The flood is particularly easy to disprove with a little field work – never mind all the other evidence that is not just against it or better described by other hypothesis, but makes it entirely impossible (missing global flood deposits for example). This makes me suspect that there must be a fair amount of jumping about in his approach to avoid giving his money away. Either that or he is a wealthy delusional buffoon with no idea of the world he is about to enter. Perhaps he has only practiced his creationism within the walls of his friends.

    • Any one standing up for Intelligent design has to look at the 2000 years of Intelligent design.
      (The fall of the dominance of Islam – Name calling rights – Nature spying against us)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti3mtDC2fQo

    • Joe G

      Well unguided/ blind watchmaker evolution can’t even muster a testable hypothsis so the evolutionist who accepts the challenge is going to have a daunting task.
      Not only that it claims hide behind the curtain of eons of time.

    • Clare45

      I think the catch is that Mastropaolo wants the evolutionist debater to put up $10,000 of their own money as well.

    • Clive

      Why would anyone put on trial an anonymously written faith story of unknown age (suspected to be compiled about 2600 years ago) about its historical or factual accuracy? You couldn’t even prove it had one author or who he was.. let alone when he wrote it and how he/she/they dreamed up this creation myth. The text should be made inadmissible in a court of law in relation to any use concerning facts about human origins prior to 1,000BCE. It is of no more historical value than Herodotus or the Gilgamesh epic. Anyone who allowed it into a court of law as factual ‘evidence’ concerning events prior to 1,000BCE needs to seriously evaluate their right to judge anything without being laughed out of court as a buffoon.

    • John Grove

      Just a quick heads up on ‘Joe G’, known as Joseph Gallien in Amazon where under one post he had over 32 comments removed because he violated policy by launching a campaign of smears against people. See here:

      http://www.amazon.com/review/R2XIG0AMUO47PC/ref=cm_cd_pg_pg42?ie=UTF8&asin=0813545501&cdForum=Fx1OA3KGG09CK7M&cdPage=42&cdThread=Tx2N4CLY0C7XJ69&store=books#wasThisHelpful

      Also see the entire comment session and see how “Joe” is totally and completely incapable of rational discussion. Start here:

      http://www.amazon.com/review/R2XIG0AMUO47PC/ref=cm_cd_pg_pg1?ie=UTF8&asin=0813545501&cdForum=Fx1OA3KGG09CK7M&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx2N4CLY0C7XJ69&store=books#wasThisHelpful

    • sir_russ

      The testing of “unguided evolution” is an ever-ongoing process at many institutions, including http://beacon-center.org/

      Beacon is the Center for the Study of Evolution in Action at Michigan State University.

      One of their experiments has followed a culture of E. coli through over 50,000 generations, and completely unguided evolution has made some amazing modifications to that founding culture.

      EDIT: Here is Richard Lenski talking about the Long Term Evolution Experiment. http://beacon-center.org/blog/2012/10/04/rich-lenski-explains-the-long-term-evolution-experiment-video/

    • Andy_Schueler

      A California creationist is offering a $10,000 challenge to anyone who can prove in front of a judge that science contradicts the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis.

      Science is not even necessary, common sense is enough – a smart elementary school kid that has been to a zoo could disprove a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis.

      What the author of the article forgot to mention, is that this “california creationist” chooses the “judge”. So he expects you to prove that science contradicts a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis to a fundagelical nutcase in a kangaroo court.

    • Pingback: IDist commenter bets my co-writer $10,000. And loses. What to do?! | A Tippling Philosopher()

    • Pingback: Cdesign proponent JoeG loses $10,000 bet and chickens out. | A Tippling Philosopher()